JBS needed to reduce costs after its acquisition of Moy Park in 2015, an industry expert told FoodManufacture.co.uk.
The source said: “JBS bought Moy Park for £944.7M [$1.5bn] only two years ago – a business which made £35.7M pre-tax profit, which was a heck of a multiple. It’s hard to see JBS recovering that.
“Even so, I can’t imagine that there is a European player in a position to make an acquisition of this size. That would point to US, South American or Far Eastern companies as the most likely. I would say that a Chinese business is a definite possibility too.”
‘US, South American or Far Eastern’
JBS revealed its plan to sell Moy Park yesterday (June 20). The poultry processor would continue to supply its products as normal, JBS added.
A JBS spokesman said: “JBS has today announced an asset divestment programme focused on strengthening its financial position through net debt reduction. This programme includes an intention to sell JBS’s 100% shareholding interest in Moy Park.
“Moy Park’s priority is business as usual: continuing to meet and exceed the needs of its customers and consumers throughout the UK, Ireland and mainland Europe, delivering outstanding quality, innovation and service. Moy Park management will keep the market informed of any further news on this development.”
Any deal for Moy Park would need to be approved by JBS’s board of directors and Brazilian competition authorities.
‘Business as usual’
Moy Park chief executive Janet McCollum said: “Our priority remains business as usual – delivering outstanding quality, innovation and service to our customers and consumers.
“Moy Park is a successful and growing food business with a solid financial standing. I have no doubt that our success is due to the great strengths of this business – our exceptional people, innovation and performance.”
Moy Park has 13 processing and manufacturing sites across Northern Ireland, England, France, the Netherlands and the Republic of Ireland. It processes about 200,000t of food a year.
Meanwhile, JBS was one of 30 companies raided by Brazilian authorities in March, after reports they had sold rotten beef and poultry. In total, three slaughterhouses were closed, 21 plants were placed under government inspection, and 33 government officials were suspended over corruption claims.
Moy Park to be sold – at a glance
- Owner JBS to sell Moy Park
- Part of JBS plan to reduce debt
- Non-European business most likely to buy